My dear Father
I think your last letter was written shortly after the beginning of the offensive. People as a whole seem to be viewing the move in the right perspective, and from all one hears and sees the effort is taking the course expected. It seems to have brought us great credit with our Allies, that in itself is a great gain, the enemy tries all he can to drive wedges of distance between the different Allied countries, and so often the more insular minded unwittingly aid and abet them.
George had hard luck over his leave, I cannot gather where he is now, but from a letter received a fortnight ago he doesn’t appear to be in the Somme area.
Some of the Worcestershire battalions have been in the thick of it judging by the casualty lists. I often think that casualty lists must be very misleading, such a high proportion of the wounded are lightly injured only, but it would be impossible and often very unfair to attempt to differentiate. I watch the lists for any further mention of Cecil Brown-Constable, but it is quite likely no further information will be to hand for some weeks whether he is prisoner or has died of wounds. It is dreadfully wearing and anxious for his Mother and sisters to have to wait expectant like this.
I have some hopes of leave when it is again open, but that may not be for many weeks. I have signed my contract for a third year’s service on the same terms. I’m afraid if it is a long war we temporary people will get much stuck in the mud for any further promotion: however in any case I should not at my age be likely to rise above a captaincy for another five years at least, and present indications seem to me to point to a war not longer than 3 years and not much less I’m afraid.
I am glad the enlarged photos of Mother and her grandchild are so successful, and my copy here is a great treasure.
I hope you will have nice weather for your stay at Eastbourne. How is Aunt Lizzie keeping?
The stay at Newport I’m sure is very good for Mary and Baby: she begins to use quite a number of words now and you will find her much grown up I expect.
With love to all at home.
Your affectionate son